(AP) – A California appeals court is questioning whether it has the jurisdiction to decide whether Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten should be freed from prison or whether it becomes moot after the governor weighs in.

Leslie Van Houten (Credit: DAMIAN DOVARGANES/AFP/Getty Images)

A three-judge panel with the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles heard arguments Wednesday on whether Van Houten deserves parole. They’re deciding whether to uphold a lower court’s ruling denying her parole.

It comes after a parole board recommended Van Houten’s release in January. The decision is undergoing a five-month review process before heading to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The judges gave attorneys on both sides five days to explain how a decision by Newsom would affect the case. If Newsom denies Van Houten parole, the judges want to know whether they still would have jurisdiction to rule.


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